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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:38 PM   #1
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13" MacBook Air Review Roundup: Apple's Battery Claims Appear Accurate, SSD and Graphics Drive Performance Increases




The first reviews of the 2013 MacBook Air models are beginning to come out and, aside from new CPUs and a new SSD architecture, the biggest new feature is a dramatic increase in claimed battery life.

Apple has increased the battery capacity of the 13" MacBook Air from a 7.3V 6700mAh unit to a 7.6V 7150mAh battery. As a result, the claimed battery life of the 13" model has increased from 7 to 12 hours. In its review, Engadget found the 13" MBA achieved 12 hours and 51 minutes on a charge under their standard battery test.


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If that didn't impress you enough, there's one area where the performance has really gone off the charts, and that's battery life. Apple rates the 2013 edition of the MacBook Air for up to 10 hours of battery life playing video or 12 hours of wireless web surfing. Our standard rundown test, as it happens, also entails playing video and last year's machine managed just over six and a half hours before expiring. We were, then, skeptical that this new edition could manage nearly twice that longevity -- but it actually did better. This year's Air survived 12 hours and 51 minutes on a charge. That's a stunning number from a laptop this thin, achieved with WiFi enabled and without any external batteries.
Laptop Magazine's test unit achieved 10 hours and 53 minutes on a home Wi-Fi connection suggesting that, while mileage may vary, Apple's claims appear to be largely legitimate.

A review from Forbes found that the battery life would be somewhere between 8 and 9 hours under more strenuous use conditions. Competing 13" notebooks don't come close to reaching 12 hours of battery life without external batteries.

Apple says OS X Mavericks, when its released this fall, will include a number of battery-saving software features which could push the battery life of the new Air even further.

Other notes from the review confirm previous reports of significant increases in flash storage read/write. Engadget reported similar numbers for reads and writes to the new PCIe-based SSDs, while also saying boot time has decreased to 12 seconds from 18 seconds on the 2012 models.

Reviews also indicated substantial increases in both CPU and graphics performance on both benchmarks and real world tests. Laptop Magazine found the 13" MacBook Air returned 44.6 fps in a World of Warcraft test on 'good' settings, comparing favorably to similar Windows machines that returned between 30 and 33 fps in a similar setup.

Article Link: 13" MacBook Air Review Roundup: Apple's Battery Claims Appear Accurate, SSD and Graphics Drive Performance Increases
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:39 PM   #2
MacReloaded
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Very nice.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:41 PM   #3
Technarchy
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I only hope Apple seeks similar battery performance improvements for the iPhone line.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:42 PM   #4
WilliamG
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This is actually quite typical of Apple "on its good days." With the iPhone 5, it's making a fantastically smooth UI on comparatively lower power than competing Android handsets.

With the 2013 MacBook Air, it's great to see a focus on what most users care about: battery life! All modern Apple laptops are more than fast enough, so to have this kind of battery life is just fabulous.

I PRAY we see a similar thing happen with the new iPhones this year. I'd love doubled battery life, somehow...

Make it happen!
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
I only hope Apple seeks similar battery performance improvements for the iPhone line.
Yes, it would be about time
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:43 PM   #6
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Kind of wish I waited to get this instead of MBP
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
comparing favorably to similar Windows machines that returned between 30 and 33 fps in a similar setup.
"Similar Windows machines" that were using Intel HD 4000, probably.

Those reviews really make you believe that GPUs are miraculous on Apple machines, which is a huge BS.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:44 PM   #8
Jack Delgado
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It would be nice if this news post touched on the fact that multiple reviews are griping about the fact that Macbook Air development has largely stagnated; in addition to the aforementioned positives.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:46 PM   #9
KylePowers
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I've been waiting and waiting (okay, exaggerating, but..) for the Haswell 13in rMBP to land, but this darn new MBA sure is impressive! Beats the heck out of my 2011 MBA, that's for sure.

Good job Apple (and Intel!)
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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Looks like Haswell and Apple are the perfect combination, and to think it can only get better with Mavericks...

Looking good!
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:47 PM   #11
JonathanK81
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Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
I only hope Apple seeks similar battery performance improvements for the iPhone line.
If Apple could improve battery life that much on the iPhones, they will do it as soon as they can. However, you can't really compare what Apple does with the iPhones versus the MacBook Airs with the new Haswell processors. The technology isn't fully there yet for iPhones.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:47 PM   #12
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Awesome! Might be time to sell the 2011 13" MBA and upgrade
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jack Delgado View Post
It would be nice if this news post touched on the fact that multiple reviews are griping about the fact that Macbook Air development has largely stagnated; in addition to the aforementioned positives.
So in other words, other than the things that have changed, nothing has changed.

Yes, it's certainly a shame that MacRumors didn't explain that concept to us.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:50 PM   #14
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So funny to read negative responses to the positive test results.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:52 PM   #15
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iShould™ say that Haswell cores have up to 2x faster video decoders (H.264, MPEG-2, VC-1). That means they need less power.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:52 PM   #16
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Still waiting to hear about non-synthetic performance improvements and battery life of the i7 upgrade.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:53 PM   #17
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Reviews also indicated substantial increases in both CPU and graphics performance on both benchmarks and real world tests. Laptop Magazine found the 13" MacBook Air returned 44.6 fps in a World of Warcraft test on 'good' settings, comparing favorably to similar Windows machines that returned between 30 and 33 fps in a similar setup
Damn it. This sucks.

Now I WILL have to buy my wife one.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:54 PM   #18
WilliamG
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Originally Posted by JonathanK81 View Post
If Apple could improve battery life that much on the iPhones, they will do it as soon as they can. However, you can't really compare what Apple does with the iPhones versus the MacBook Airs with the new Haswell processors. The technology isn't fully there yet for iPhones.
That we know of. The technology IS there when it's available, and nothing surprises me these days..
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:55 PM   #19
dennno
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Looks like the perfect time for me to upgrade my air. The iPhone desperately needs this battery boost.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by KylePowers View Post
I've been waiting and waiting (okay, exaggerating, but..) for the Haswell 13in rMBP to land, but this darn new MBA sure is impressive! Beats the heck out of my 2011 MBA, that's for sure.

Good job Apple (and Intel!)
Me too! I'm really hoping to see some battery life increases in the rMBP, but I also would like a quad core processor and Iris Pro graphics... We'll just have to wait and see what Apple decides for us.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:57 PM   #21
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I would definitely sacrifice a speed increase on my iPhone for greater battery life. It's fast enough already.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:57 PM   #22
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very tempting indeed

but for all the reading and writing I do, the retina will be much better for me. The rMBP screens are the only retina screen where I noticed a huge difference.

I will wait and see what the rMBP refresh is like (battery life and screen).

This is great to hear. If I didn't need a better screen, I'd order one asap.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:57 PM   #23
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Haswell + MBA + Mavericks = 12+ hours

Haswell + MBP + Mavericks =


we need details
thank you we need it like hmmmm this fall
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
I only hope Apple seeks similar battery performance improvements for the iPhone line.
Trust me when I tell you that Apple is working on the best battery life for all its products. It is, however, limited by the laws of physics and the current state of technology.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 01:59 PM   #25
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Someone please tell me when they think the next MBPr refresh will be. Then take my money.
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